Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

What is the Three Minute Thesis (3MT)?

Your graduate research. 3 minutes. 1 slide.

Every year the University of Toronto hosts the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), a competition in which graduate students present their work to a generalist audience in 3 minutes using only one static slide.

2024 3MT Winners and Finalists

Congratulations to the 2024 3MT winners and finalists!

First Place and People’s Choice
Daniil Lisus
Institute of Aerospace Studies, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
“Helping Autonomous Cars See What Our Eyes Can’t”

Second Place
Emaad Paracha
Department of Physics, Faculty of Arts & Science
“Detecting Dark Matter in Galaxy Clusters from the Stratosphere”

Third Place
Angel Badewole
Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
“Assessing the Environmental Impacts of an Innovative Chemical Production Pathway”

FinalistGraduate Unit and Faculty
Tabina AhmedDepartment of Physiology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Angel BadewoleDepartment of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Connor BrennaDepartment of Physiology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Alexia CumalLawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
Mimi DengInstitute of Medical Science, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Kyle FarwellFaculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Carolyn Kelly-RuetzDepartment of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Daniil LisusInstitute of Aerospace Studies, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Angelico ObilleInstitute of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Emaad ParachaDepartment of Physics, Faculty of Arts & Science
Nicholas SilverDepartment of Biochemistry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Nadine ZaghriniDepartment of Civil and Mineral Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

3MT Final Program

Watch / Listen to the 2024 3MT Winners

First place: Daniil Lisus, Institute of Aerospace Studies, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, “Helping Autonomous Cars See What Our Eyes Can’t
Second place: Emaad Paracha, Department of Physics, Faculty of Arts & Science, “Detecting Dark Matter in Galaxy Clusters from the Stratosphere
Third place: Angel Badewole, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of an Innovative Chemical Production Pathway

3MT in the News

2023 U of T 3MT winner Emily Majaesic wins first place at the Ontario Regional competition

Emily Majaesic with SGS Dean Joshua Barker at the Ontario Regional final held at Queen’s University

2025 3MT Competition Schedule: Coming Soon

RoundDateRegistration
Workshop: Preparing your 3MT PresentationLive online, January 2025
Workshop: Preparing your 3MT PresentationStream online, January 2025
U of T HeatsIn person, February 2025
U of T Semi-Finals In person, March 2025
U of T FinalsIn person, March 2025
Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) CompetitionTBA
Ontario 3MT RegionalsTBA
National 3MT ShowcaseTBA
Council of Graduate Studies ShowcaseTBA
3MT Competition Schedule

Why You Should Participate in the 3MT

Improve your oral presentation skills, profile your research, and learn about our community’s cutting-edge ideas.

  • Present your 3MT to generalist audiences at the University of Toronto.
  • Winning the University of Toronto 3MT finals will allow you to compete at the provincial level.
  • You can even advance to showcase your research at the national and international level.

In addition to the opportunity to improve your communication skills and showcase your research, there are prizes for 3MT winners: $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and $200 for the people’s choice winner, paid into your student account.

Ready to Apply?

Eligibility, Rules, and Judging Criteria

  • Students must attend the Workshop: Preparing Your 3MT® Presentation (either online or in person).
  • Students must be registered in a graduate program with a thesis component at the time of the 3MT® competition.
  • 3MT® presentations must represent the primary research the student has conducted in their graduate program.
  • Competitors must present in person and agree to be video/audio recorded and photographed. They must also allow those recordings and photographs to be made public.
  • The winner of the University of Toronto competition must be available to attend the provincial finals.

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration)
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted
  • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs)
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Presentations will be assessed according to the criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted.

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes, and impact of the research
  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

How 3MT Works

Competitors progress from the preliminary heats to the semi-finals and then to the finals. The judges will award first, second, and third place, while the audience’s favourite presentation is awarded the people’s choice.

Competition Levels at a Glance

  1. University of Toronto level
    • This 3MT competition is hosted by the School of Graduate Studies. Competitors begin in the preliminary heats and may advance to the semi-finals and finals.
  2. Ontario 3MT Showcase
    • The winner of the University of Toronto 3MT competes at the Ontario provincial competition, hosted by a different Ontario university each year.
  3. National 3MT Showcase
    • The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) hosts the top finalists from each of the provincial competitions (Western, Ontario, Eastern) to compete in an online format. The video recordings of the finalists’ presentations are played and judged.
  4. Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) Competition
    • The winner of the University of Toronto 3MT competes internationally. The NAGS competition brings together the 3MT winners of universities across the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec, and the American states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. Competitors present live in front of a panel of judges.
  5. Council of Graduate Studies Showcase
    • The Council of Graduate Studies hosts a North America-wide 3MT showcase with the winners from the southern, western, midwestern, and northeastern regions presenting their 3MT orations and participating in a roundtable discussion. The audience is then given a chance to confer a People’s Choice Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other questions? Contact us at cgpd@utoronto.ca

We will email you your heat date and a link to submit your slide. But you are encouraged to begin working on your slide and practicing your presentation before then. 

Yes! We encourage you to make changes and incorporate judges’ feedback as you advance through the stages of the competition.

Yes, all graduate students may participate in the preliminary heats subject to meeting the eligibility requirements.

Post-docs are not eligible to take part in the main 3MT competition. We are working on a new program that will allow post-docs to participate in a similar initiative. Stay tuned!

Training and Resources